Four Keys To A Winning Tennis Mental Attitude

Four Keys To A Winning Tennis Mental Attitude

Tennis is a mentally demanding sport for the following reasons: Actual game play takes only 10-35% of the game time that players spend on the court. During this time, many negative or unimportant thoughts appear in the player’s consciousness that negatively influence coordination, timing, motivation and consequently affect concentration and energy levels.

More than 1000 times per match, a player has to make a decision in less than a second.

No one is perfect and so the player makes mistakes. How a player handles these mistakes is crucially important to his game. It’s an individual sport where there are no time-outs, no substitutions or time limits. The scoring system allows the player to win from any situation, even when trailing by many games.

This system allows many turnovers and changes of momentum.

Coaching is not allowed except in rare occasions In order to overcome these mental challenges you can use these mental strategies and tips:

1. Be brave: You will be facing fear in a tennis match many times. You'll face the fear of missing, the fear of losing, the fear of winning, the fear of other people opinion, the fear of disappointing your family or your coach and so on. There is only one weapon against fear -- courage.

2. Detach from winning: Although most of the time your goal will be to win the match, you need to let go of this and focus on playing the game tactically correctly. We have no control over winning, but we do over how we want to play, whether that means making your opponent run or playing a serve & volley tactic. If you keep the winning or beating your opponent in your mind, you get emotional and that clouds your judgment and slows down body abilities.

3. Be here and now: Our mind constantly goes in the past and predicts the future based on past experiences. In the game of tennis the ball is flying NOW towards you and any thinking about the past mistakes or future disappointments will disturb your judgment of the ball flight and how to play it.

4. Acceptance: there will be many unwanted events in a tennis match like: bad line calls, lucky net cord shots from your opponent, noise, wind, etc. And you will also not be able to play perfectly all the time . You'll make unforced errors, even silly mistakes and wrong decisions. All this will happen because that is the nature of sport and life . We cannot control the outcome. If you are able to accept all unwanted events and your imperfections as a part of the game, you won't get upset, irritated or frustrated and you'll be able to play your best tennis without emotional ups and downs.

Tomaz Mencinger Tennis Thoughts Blog

More Tennis Articles:

Mental Toughness - by Tomaz Mencinger

Tennis Psychology - by Tomaz Mencinger

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On Court Coaching: Should it be allowed?

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Wimbledon Center Court: What An Experience

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